I’m all for spending time on myself (i.e. locked in the bathroom without kids), but there are times (like every morning) when I just don’t have the time for a full-fledged beauty routine.
Instead of skimping on my makeup routine, I started using beauty products that simplified my routine (but still gave me the clean, natural look that I was going for).
My objective every morning isn’t to make myself look like one of the Kardashians. Instead, I’ll just settle for looking somewhat awake, without huge undereye circles from teething toddlers who cried all.night.long.
A little bit of makeup goes a long way in making you feel better. Even if no one sees you except your toddler and the UPS man, I still feel better when I’ve spent a few minutes getting ready for the day.
The best part about this beauty routine is that I can be ready to go in less than five minutes, and it’s a timeless look. Regardless of whether the supermodels are wearing blue eyeshadow or orange, I can still look like a better version of myself year-round with little effort.
An Easy Year-Round Beauty Routine
Step 1: BB Cream
I’ve tried everything from foundation to tinted moisturizer to CC cream, and I have to say that my tried-and-true favorite product is Maybelline’s BB Cream. It’s super easy to apply and it blends! Whether my skin is a little red from dry winter air, pasty white in the spring, or slightly sun-kissed in the summer, I can get away with wearing the same shade.
I probably use more of this than I should, but considering that it has SPF 30, I tend to slather this over my entire face. Instead of using a primer, moisturizer, and foundation, I love that this product moisturizes and protects my skin (without leaving it greasy) all in one step. Also, I don’t use concealer. Although this product is more like a tinted moisturizer, it has enough coverage that it minimizes imperfections without totally masking your skin.
Note that foundations tend to darken over time. So, even if a shade is too light in the winter, by summer it may be dark enough to match your skin. Also, the Maybelline BB Cream has blending compounds to match a variety of skin tones. For example, I wear the same shade as both my mom and my grandma, even though we all have different skin tones.
Step 2: Mascara
I love Maybelline’s Falsies Flared mascara. I usually use waterproof mascara, especially in the summer. If you apply more than two coats or reapply throughout the day, I would recommend using a washable mascara so your eyelashes don’t stick together and look like caterpillars. My favorite washable mascara is Maybelline’s Mega Plush mascara.
Both the washable and waterproof mascaras do a great job of lengthening and thickening your eyelashes just enough to make your eyes appear more open and awake – almost like coffee for your eyes. 😉
Step 3: Blush
If I’m going out in public, I normally wear a swipe of blush (I prefer the powder kind because it’s easier to blend and doesn’t feel like I’m smothering my skin). In the summer months or when I’ll be near or in water, I’ve been using Cargo Swimmables™ Water Resistant Blush, which is a little on the pricey side but it’s lasted me over a year.
Step 4: Lip Balm
I’m not a huge lipstick fan, but I’ve been loving Maybelline’s Baby Lips ever since I tried it a year ago. It has SPF 20 and gives me just enough color.
Also, I love that I can add these to my Amazon Subscribe and Save order (and they’re cheap enough that I don’t feel guilty storing them in my purse, in my car, in my bathroom, and anywhere else I might need it)!
Step 5: Eyeliner
I don’t always wear eyeliner, but if I’m having a date night or going out in the evening, I’ll quickly line my top lashes and half of my bottom lashes with brown eyeliner before I apply mascara. I especially like using CoverGirl’s eyeliner because it’s water resistant, self-sharpening, and includes an eraser. 😉
I normally stick to brown eyeliner because my intent is to make my eyes appear more open and awake, not have people say, “Holy eyeliner, Batman.” Also, I have super oily skin, so if I get too close to the corners of my eyes or attempt a thick, smudged eyeliner look, I’ll end up looking like a raccoon.
Wearing makeup can be a fun way to feel better about yourself (it’s amazing how a little lip gloss can make you feel pulled together even if you’re parading around the house in an oversized shirt and yoga pants). Even so, your beauty routine doesn’t have to take forever (I spend less than five minutes on my makeup routine every morning) and you don’t have to feel like you’re a clown in training.
Sunday 20th of November 2016
love this, thank you! love the products you recommended, these are my favs too! have you tried loreal's Magic BB cream?? It looks a little scary coming out of the tube (white), but it blends into a nice light shade. love it :) Same with you on the hair! I struggle too lol
going through some other posts now (just found you today), loving your site :)
Rachel @ Smart Mom Smart Ideas
Sunday 12th of June 2016
Hi Alison, I love having a minimalist routine for make-up. I must have my foundation, blush and eyeliner. I also need eye shadow. But I have dropped the mascara. Now, if I could just find a way to do my hair simple.....
Thursday 16th of June 2016
I am right there with you on the hair. Everyone else can get my hair to look amazing in just a few minutes, but I've never been able to master drying it while brushing it at the same time, so I end up having to blow it dry and then straighten it. Frustrating!